This year, I had a couple of readers actually ask me for ‘real must haves’ for first timers – they weren’t going skiing themselves, but their families were. So here are my picks for items you really need on a mountain holiday – or when the weather is pretty cold at home.
Johnstons of Elgin cashmere scarf
The word you are looking for here is ‘classic and timeless’ and they do these scarves beautifully on. variety of colours. Word out is that is Johnstons does all the Hermes cashmere blankets…
Uniqlo cashmere scarf
I love these scarves for day to day and they are machine-washable too. They are unisex and we wear them pretty much every day. They are nice and soft and incredible value.
Falke ski socks
Arguably the best sock brand in the world (definitely our favourite at home for all types of socks which are handcrafted and do last), I love their ski range. It fit my feet (pun intended) like a glove and I have zero complaints. I do recommend them 100%.
Saks cashmere cardigan
From £250 from Saks Off Fifth (and ships worldwide). If it appears sold out, check back as they have been restocking weekly. It is worth it.
I featured this cardigan in my Christmas list and I got more emails and photos of readers about it than anything else ever. I currently own the grey and ordered a new black one on a recent visit to California (oh the irony) and I love it. It works incredibly well anywhere in the world where it is cold.
Saks loose cashmere top
From £150 from Saks Off Fifth (and ships worldwide)
I had been looking for a nice chunky ‘loose’ cashmere jumper, and haven’t found it – but this is the best I could find and I bought it both grey and black (and desperate for navy like this one). They are ‘loose’, i.e. not tight, which is a more relaxed fit (which I currently prefer!). I wear mine with a Uniqlo heattech top underneath when it really is cold. This is also an alternative or Neiman Marcus own’ (but Saks is a dream worldwide shipper, whereas NM is only good for North America).
Sorel Women’s Out N About Plus Tall Duck Boots
From £100 on Amazon,
I still love my pair of Sorel Caribou, but these are much lighter – which makes them perfect for travel. The Caribou model weighs about 5kg each and obviously makes them super appropriate for blizzards, but I love the new Out N About Tall model, which is a remake of the previously named Caribou Slim boots. I have them in black and many of you noticed me wearing them in Innsbruck and Lake Tahoe.
We recommend you go up a half size on all your Sorel purchases.
Inuikii shearling boots
From £300 from MyTheresa
I love love love my Inuikiis which were an Austrian discovery – I hadn’t come across this brand before, but saw it in a few select places since and they are absolutely recommended. Super warm, shearling lined and available in a huge selection of colours. They have what they call boots and sneakers – and it is a Swiss brand.
Uniqlo Heattech base layers
Uniqlo has launched its heattech a few years ago – and I cannot recommend it enough. The items in questions – from long sleeve t-shirts, to turtle necks or leggings are now available in various degrees of heat technology and not only do they look like normal t-shirts/tops, they really are great for skiing as well. Or just walking around.
Falke base layers or ‘functional underwear’
From £59 from Falke
Whilst I still love the icebreaker range, this was my discovery of the year – and I love them. At a different price point from Uniqlo, and very well made. I was very excited about the Sweaty Betty base layers… but mine survived 3 washes (which isn’t ok for the price paid). Available for all the family as Falke does not discriminate.
Peak Performance dual ski and non ski coat
I bought this as a spur of the moment coat recently because a) it is navy, b) is an actual ski jacket and the ski-specific bits come off, c) keeps my bottom warm and d) looks like a coat I can wear on the street on a very cold day and e) I love peak performance and whereas I cannot fit into my PP skinny ski pants at the moment, I will be able to pair this in the future.
A Swedish brand, it is probably one of my favourite ski brands and has been for over a decade. Their trousers fit incredibly well and this jacket does too.
Herno cashmere down coat
I bought one sub zero tweet down jacket from Herno last year (which I wore in Innsbruck) and it is tested up to -30c so I am good to go. I also bought another lovely version earlier this season (completely sold out) which is a cashmere wool coal with the down inside and on the sleeves and bottom. It is graded for -10c and incredibly smart and fit for purpose.
I recommend Herno coats for both men and women – and it will be a process of elimination until you find yours. Mr. O has a cashmere navy coat which looks like a normal coat and all down padded inside.
I hope you find this selection useful and that you keep warm this winter.